LENRD Board works towards protecting communities after flood events

As communities continue to recover from the recent flood events, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) is offering a helping hand.  The LENRD’s responsibilities include flood prevention and control as well as prevention of damages from flood water and sediment.

Several communities have come forward for assistance in studying possible solutions to protect their cities and towns from flooding in the future.

The City of Pierce was protected from the flood during the storm due to the Willow Creek dam that held back almost 18,000 acre-feet of water, and by a levee that surrounds a portion of the community.  However, the water that did enter Pierce was from drainage issues within and on the west side of the city.  The city is requesting assistance to complete a drainage study of the area.  The LENRD board of directors directed staff to obtain an estimate for a drainage study and work with the City of Pierce in developing an interlocal agreement to provide 50% of the study cost.

The City of Battle Creek has had a history of flood-related problems.  City officials are asking if the potential flood control projects that were determined feasible in 2014 could be revisited.  The LENRD board of directors have instructed staff to work with the City of Battle Creek in developing a proposal for the board to consider, which would identify the project the city would like to pursue as well as updated construction costs for the potential projects.

The City of Osmond is also requesting assistance from the LENRD.  Massive flooding took place across the city, causing extensive damage.  The LENRD board directed staff to obtain an estimate for a drainage study and to work with the City of Osmond in developing an interlocal agreement to provide 50% of the study cost.

Another project, near Scribner, will stabilize a portion of the stream on the Elkhorn River.  The board instructed the LENRD staff to work with Dodge County and the City of Scribner on the Elkhorn River Streambank Stabilization Project northeast of Scribner.

LENRD Projects Manager, Curt Becker, said, “Other towns or communities who need flood-control assistance should contact the LENRD as soon as possible so funding can be applied for before the deadlines.”

At their April meeting, the Board also approved the Urban Recreation Area Development and Urban Conservation Program applications as recommended by staff.  The communities of Wisner, Craig, and Tilden as well as Lyons-Decatur Northeast High School were among the recipients of cost-share funding for their projects.

In other action, the board approved a grant of $2,083.65 to Madison Public Schools for their Watershed Dynamics Program.  The grant allows the school to continue their summer research program and gives the students hands-on learning in the water resources field.

The next LENRD board meeting will be Thursday, May 23rd at 7:30 p.m. at the LENRD office at 1508 Square Turn Boulevard in Norfolk.  Stay connected with the LENRD by subscribing to their monthly emails.